Launching a Career in Compliance Consulting: 3 Frequently Asked Questions

Compliance consulting

Companies in all industries, from financial services to healthcare, must adhere to a relevant set of rules, regulations and policies. Navigating regulatory compliance can be very challenging for businesses, and many engage compliance consulting experts to confirm they are meeting necessary requirements.

Compliance consulting is a demanding but rewarding job that requires rigorous attention to detail and substantial expertise in regulatory mandates. If you want to explore this career path, here are a few basic things to know.

1. What skills and training do I need?

Most compliance consultants have at least a bachelor’s degree, although advanced degrees and certifications, such as a master of business administration (MBA), certified public accountant (CPA) and certified internal auditor (CIA) can give you an edge.

Specialized expertise and industry experience are most valued by employers, however. Organizations want to work with consultants who have a deep understanding of how specific regulatory mandates impact their business — in their main country of operation as well as abroad, if applicable.

Solid soft skills are also essential to compliance consulting. You will likely need to work closely with the company’s compliance, legal and finance departments, but also interact with a wide range of personnel at all levels of the organization.

You may even be asked to participate in compliance training to company employees. You therefore need the ability to explain regulatory compliance complexities in easy-to-understand language for all audiences.

2. What will I do?

Working in compliance consulting requires that you not only recognize and report potential compliance problems, but also, be ready to provide viable solutions for those issues.

You will likely be asked to analyze the organization’s compliance function and the status of the business’s existing governance programs, operations and internal controls. You also may need to provide guidance on how to develop and implement compliance programs and policies.

In addition, you may be required to analyze data to pinpoint opportunities for increasing efficiency in compliance practices — including finding ways to help reduce personnel time and costs.

3. Can this be a long-term career?

Demand is high for many types of consultants, and professionals with governance, risk and compliance expertise are highly sought-after. Many professionals choose to stay in consulting for the long term because they enjoy the diversity of assignments and flexible work schedule.

Maintaining a successful career in compliance consulting requires that you stay informed about constantly shifting mandates and other related trends, particularly for the industries you help to support. Many training programs are available online for low or even no cost.

Working with a staffing firm that specializes in placing senior-level financial consultants can give you access to relevant skills training, as well.

If compliance consulting feels like a fit for your skill set and is something you’d like to pursue, you may well have your pick of varied jobs and steady employment. Many financial executives consider a move to consulting attractive, according to recent research by Robert Half Management Resources.

Related resources